Personal Injury Claims in Charlotte: Types of Damages
Assessing damages in your claim and working to secure maximum compensation
If you've been injured in an accident due to someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Personal injury claims can help you recover financial damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But before filing a claim, it's important to understand the types of damages that may be available to you.
You may be entitled to economic damages, which include tangible losses like medical bills and lost income, as well as non-economic damages, which include intangible losses like emotional distress and pain and suffering. In some cases, victims may be awarded punitive damages, which are rare cases where the defendant's behavior was particularly egregious. Understanding these different types of damages can help you better navigate the personal injury claims process and ensure that you secure the compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions about personal injury claim damages
What are the types of damages available in a personal injury claim?
In a personal injury claim, there are generally three types of damages that may be available: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
- Economic damages, which are the tangible losses that you may have incurred as a result of your injuries, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Economic damages are generally easy to calculate and may be proven through bills, receipts, and other forms of documentation.
- Non-economic damages, the intangible losses that you may have suffered, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages are generally harder to quantify as they are subjective and vary from person to person.
- Punitive damages, which are damages awarded to punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior. Punitive damages are only awarded in rare cases where the defendant's actions were intentional, reckless, or malicious. They are meant to serve as a deterrent to others who may engage in similar behavior in the future.
An experienced Charlotte personal injury attorney can help you understand the types of damages that may be available to you and can work to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.
What are economic damages?
Economic damages are a type of compensation available in a personal injury claim that aim to reimburse the victim for their financial losses resulting from the injury. These losses are typically tangible and can be easily quantified in monetary terms. Economic damages can include:
- Medical expenses. These include the cost of medical treatment, such as hospitalization, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and other related expenses.
- Lost income, including compensation for lost wages and benefits, including future earnings that may be lost due to the injury.
- Property damage. If the injury resulted in damage to your property, such as a car or personal belongings, you are likely entitled to compensation for the cost of repair or replacement.
- Other expenses, including any other out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of the injury, such as transportation costs, home care expenses, and other related costs.
To claim economic damages, you must provide evidence of financial losses, such as receipts, bills, and other documentation. Your Charlotte personal injury attorney can help you accurately calculate your economic damages and ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.
What are non-economic damages?
Non-economic damages are a type of compensation available in a personal injury claim that aim to compensate you as the plaintiff for the intangible losses you have suffered because of the injury. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify in monetary terms because they involve subjective factors unique to the individual. Non-economic damages can include:
- Pain and suffering, including the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by the injury, such as the pain of recovery, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
- Loss of consortium refers to the damages that a spouse or family member of the plaintiff may suffer as a result of the injury. When someone is injured due to another person's negligence, their spouse or family member may also suffer a loss of companionship, comfort, and intimacy because of the injury.
- Emotional distress, which refers to the psychological impact of the injury, such as anxiety, depression, fear, and other related conditions.
- Disfigurement or scarring. If the injury resulted in permanent disfigurement or scarring, you may be entitled to compensation for the physical and emotional impact of the disfigurement.
Non-economic damages are typically subjective and can vary greatly depending on the individual's circumstances. To prove non-economic damages, you must demonstrate the extent of their losses through medical records, expert testimony, and other related evidence. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you accurately assess their non-economic damages and fight for fair compensation.
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are a type of compensation awarded in addition to economic and non-economic damages in certain personal injury cases. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for their wrongful conduct and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
Punitive damages are typically only awarded in cases where the defendant's conduct was particularly egregious, intentional, or malicious. For example, if a company knowingly produced and sold a defective product that caused harm to consumers, a court may award punitive damages to punish the company and deter similar behavior in the future.
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, the amount of punitive damages is not based on the victim's losses. Instead, it is calculated based on the severity of the defendant's misconduct and their ability to pay. The purpose of punitive damages is not to compensate the victim, but rather to punish the defendant and prevent future misconduct.
Here in North Carolina, punitive damages are capped:
Punitive damages awarded against a defendant shall not exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages or two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000), whichever is greater. If a trier of fact returns a verdict for punitive damages in excess of the maximum amount specified under this subsection, the trial court shall reduce the award and enter judgment for punitive damages in the maximum amount.
If a trier of fact returns a verdict for punitive damages in excess of the maximum amount specified under this subsection, the trial court shall reduce the award and enter judgment for punitive damages in the maximum amount.
However, this cap does not apply in cases of injuries or deaths arising from drunk driving: “G.S. 1D-25(b) shall not apply to a claim for punitive damages for injury or harm arising from a defendant's operation of a motor vehicle if the actions of the defendant in operating the motor vehicle would give rise to an offense of driving while impaired.”
Do you have a personal injury lawyer near me?
Yes, we do. While our central office is located at 1430 Elizabeth Ave. in Charlotte, we have additional satellite offices located in Rutherfordton and in Rockingham. If you’re too ill to come to our office, we will make arrangements to see you at your home, a healthcare facility, or through a video conference.
Contact our Charlotte personal injury attorneys today
If you've been injured in an accident, don't wait to seek the compensation you deserve. With over 40 years of experience, Price, Petho & Associates has the knowledge and skills to help you navigate the legal system and recover the damages you're entitled to. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that an injury can take on you and your family, and we're here to fight for your rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us help you get the justice you deserve. Please call or fill out our contact form to schedule your free consultation. We represent clients and families in Charlotte, Rockingham, Rutherfordton, and across North Carolina.